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the head is larger, so it breaks away the old pipe and allows the new pipe to come in behind it. griffin: we are saving about 67% of the cost of actually digging old pipe up. clyne: it's less invasive than an open-cut process, where you would open the whole trench up and replace the pipe. it's called "trenchless" technology, so... that's as good as it gets. griffin: we don't have to dig up everyone's yard, and we refurbish that pipe at a much-reduced cost. another technique, the cured-in-place lining. it's equivalent to putting a large sock through the existing sewer. we form a new pipe inside the old pipe, and therefore we seal up all of the defects that allow rainwater to come in. hunter: we repair about 730 leaks a month in our system. griffin: the improvements that we've made
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will make the environment better. we had approximately 1,000 overflows occur in 1999. today, we've reduced overflows by 45% to 50%. and it's going to continue to improve as we go forward with the rehabilitation program that's required under the consent decree. narrator: an important piece of the program is the construction of an 8-mile-long storage tank that will significantly decrease combined sewer overflows. man: right now, we're at the bottom of the rockdale construction shaft. we're 310 feet below grade, deep under atlanta in hard rock. in the downtown area of atlanta, the sewer system and the stormwater system are combined and there are overflows during storm events, and so the purpose of this system is to relieve that flow, take it into the tunnel, transport it to a brand-new treatment plant,
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clean up the chattahoochee river. narrator: instead of the combined sewage overflowing into the river, it will flow into this tunnel that acts as a storage tank. the water will then slowly empty into the new plant for treatment before it's released back into the river. man: the system in total is about 8 1/2 miles, 27 feet in diameter. most of the time it will be dry. the only time it will fill is when the sewer system is overwhelmed by the storm. it is a massive project. our budget was $210 million. we've worked about a million and a half man-hours. hunter: it is an incredible amount of work. our capital program right now is $3.9 billion. over a period of less than 10 years. franklin: so it's very expensive. the bottom line is, we, as atlantans, as georgians,
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don't have a choice to protect the river. we need to leave it better than we found it, and it's really been a political advantage for me, not a disadvantage. people laugh about me being the sewer mayor, but they remember what i'm doing. griffin: we want people to understand, when they see one of our work crews out working on the mains, that that work is necessary in order for them to have good clean drinking water or to have a good, functioning wastewater system. franklin: you don't put a roof on the house one time. you don't fix the plumbing one time, any more than i get my hair done one time. if we don't continue to invest for the next 20 years, we'll find ourselves back at the same point that we were in the late '90s. if we don't protect water, we will be without water. we will be without industry, we will be without jobs, we will be without a healthy economy, and our people will be sick.
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so we don't really have a choice. we're going to find out why that's important. it's a question of, who's going to pay, how much you're going to be willing to pay in order to ensure that your children live the kind of life that we as americans have promised them. woman: and what we're going to do is get a marble to travel through your pipe. child: keep still! keep still! woman: aw, there's a clog in the drain. oh, there it is. [ laughing ] narrator: in the 19th century, foresighted leadership and innovative engineering established drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure that supported the growth of the nation. through much of the 20th century, we continued to invest, to ensure our public health, safety, and economy. but now, in the 21st century,
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we face the need to revisit our commitment to the buried assets and infrastructure that for so long have provided for our way of life. johnson: infrastructure across this country needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed now. hunter: what we need is responsible stewardship. we just can't turn a blind eye and say that they're going to continue to work for another 50 or 100 years. franklin: we can't be embarrassed to tell our congresspeople that we want something different. kelly: it's going to take state officials, it's going to take federal assistance, it's going to take all of us to get this united states back where it belongs. we're not there yet, but we can be there. grumbles: water is america's greatest liquid asset. and citizens and governments all need to be reminded of that from time to time. woman: what can individuals do to make a difference? allbee: we need to accept the responsibility that future generations need to be able to rely on those assets to have the same quality of life that we have. oberstar: all the water there ever was or ever will be
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is here on earth today and it's our responsibility now, at this time, in this generation, to protect it. that must be our legacy to the future.
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January 9, 2013 5:30am-6:00am PST

TOPIC FREQUENCY Griffin 4, Atlanta 2, Us 1, United States 1, As Atlantans 1, America 1, Rockdale 1
Network SFGTV2
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 89 (615 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 544
Pixel height 480